In Proverbs God says: Son honor Dad. And Mom too. Honoring your parents pleases God.
Welcome to a special four-part series in time for Father’s Day! This post describes how sons can honor their dads.
Dr. Ron Allchin, D.Min., founder and executive director of BCC, wrote Growing in Wisdom: A Bible Study in Proverbs for Fathers and Sons, a book that makes a great Father’s Day gift.
You may purchase Dr. Allchin’s book in two formats: Kindle and paperback (8.5 by 11-inch workbook). Income from book sales benefit BCC’s work in counseling the hurting, training leaders, and developing new resources.
Read the first two posts in this series here and here and here.
Your parents should be your most important relationship on earth this side of marriage.
They are the primary influence upon you throughout your most impressionable years of life. It is mainly their model as man and woman, husband and wife, father and mother that will help to mold your understanding of these important roles and relationships.
When our LORD gave Moses the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, He gave the parent-child commandment fifth, right after the first four commandments pertaining to man’s relationship to God. Exodus 20:12 reads, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” In the New Testament this same command is restated in Ephesians 6:1-3.
Son honor dad in these ways:
Honor Dad and Mom by Hearing Them
“To hear” implies much more than just listening to words with our ears. It means: obey.
Without obedience, there is no possibility of “honoring your parents.” Honoring means being obedient to their teachings and instructions. To honor them means to listen carefully to their counsel (1:8; 2:1; 3:1).
Several times in Proverbs, the father and mother stand together as the instructor of the children. Even though the father is primarily recognized and responsible for the training of the child, the mother is found by his side complementing the same task. We see this in Proverbs 1:8 and 6:20.
Honor Dad and Mom by Being Sensitive to Their Emotions
Just as the son has emotional wants that parents can meet, the parents have emotional wants and desires that their children can meet. The wise son will seek to meet those desires as he loves, honors, and compliments his parents (17:6; 31:28).
A Foolish Son Brings Hurt to His Parents
As a foolish son rejects his parents’ teachings he lives a life of disobedience. He brings hurt to himself, but not to himself only. He also brings great pain to the emotional life and often the physical life of his parents.
“None of us lives to himself” (Romans 14:7), neither is any man an island. His life, whether negative or positive, affects many people. The unmarried son’s first impact will be upon his parents. If he dishonors his parents by rejecting their words, the emotional result to his parents will be traumatic.
1. Hurt to his mother: In Proverbs 10:1 we are told that “a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.” The foolish son brings deep grief and anguish to his mother. Heaviness has the meaning of deep sorrow which tears the heart, producing great pain.
2. Hurt to his father: Proverbs 17:21 tells us that the father of a fool has no joy. In Proverbs 19:13 the foolish son is described as bringing “ruin” to his father. This means that the son is no longer a blessing to the family but is looked upon as “a troublesome evil and a very great misfortune.”
A Wise Son Brings Happiness to His Parents
1. Happiness to his mother: Two words describe the emotions that a wise son brings to his mother. These words are “joy” and “rejoicing.” Rejoicing contains the idea of intense joy–joy with excitement. What a contrast to the grief and sorrow brought to the mother of the fool.
2. Happiness to his father: The emotional responses of the father are ones of gladness and rejoicing. “Glad” and “rejoice” are each found several times to describe the father’s emotional response to his son’s wise decisions of life.
Honor Dad and Mom by Avoiding Foolishness
The fool is described in Proverbs 11:29 as one that “troubles his own household.” By his own foolish actions, this son distresses his entire house. All those who live in that house are touched by it. The reward for doing so is to inherit the wind. He ends up with nothing. This is the empty reward of the foolish son.
Proverbs 20:20 says that the son who dishonors his parents will have “his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.” William Wilson, in his book Old Testament Word Studies, said this about the lamp:
Lamps in the East were kept burning all night. The origin of the custom may have been to preserve themselves from the serpents and other noxious reptiles; hence, the putting out of a light is a figure of great danger as the light is a symbol of prosperity.
Honor Your Dad and Mom by Striving for the Rewards of the Wise
The rewards of the wise are found throughout the book of Proverbs and especially in the many verses contrasting the wise and the foolish. However, Proverbs 1:9 mentions two rewards that show the person who receives them as truly wise and in a position to receive other rewards.
for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck. Proverbs 1:9
“Hearing,” obeying and honoring your parents will bring the rewards of:
It is hard to tell whether these rewards are literal, figurative, or both. Beautiful adornments to the head and neck were given to wise sons, indicating to others that they had embraced the teachings and instructions of their parents which resulted in wise living.
Question: How will you honor your dad this week?
photo credit: Elvert Barnes via photopin cc
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